Staley on the rise

Great Mechelle Voepel piece on Dawn Staley, in reference to yesterday’s matchup between her team and Tennessee:

What Tennessee coach Pat Summitt most remembers about facing Staley at Virginia, though, is the year before. Virginia upset Tennessee in the 1990 East Regional final, preventing the host school from playing in that year’s Final Four here in Knoxville.

“I do have quite the memory about Dawn Staley,” Summitt said. “We were in [that 1990] regional championship game, and we didn’t have an answer for her. And we lost.

“We didn’t get to come back and play for a national championship at Thompson-Boling Arena. So when I see her, I have to get over that.”

Summitt smiled as she said that, but you can tell it still bugs her — despite now having eight NCAA titles. Meanwhile, Staley said that the 1990 East Regional win over Tennessee actually stands in her mind as the closest Virginia got to an NCAA title.

“That’s the only thing we can equate to a national championship, because we never won,” Staley said. “I’ve got two former Volunteers on my staff, and they bring it up more than I do.”